Difference Between a Career Training and Community College

What's Your Best Option for Welding Training

Career Training or Community College? Which is the right choice for you?

These are big questions and can determine your career path. Let’s go over the main points of each.

Career Training (such as Welding School)

  • Goal: To earn a certificate, diploma, the opportunity to take a licensing exam or an apprenticeship/work as a journeyman
  • Training is specific to the career path, no general education courses required
  • Focused on hands-on learning
  • Smaller class sizes
  • Up to date with current field technology
  • Most trade school certificates can be obtained in under 2 years
  • Over 50% can be held in under 12 months
  • Trade school costs about ¼ the average 4-year degree

Community College

  • Goal: To earn an associate degree, possibly transfer to a 4-year university
  • More educational preparation required
  • General education coursework required (Math, English, History, Science, etc)
  • Mostly classroom or lecture classes, possibly some hands-on depending on the field
  • Usually compatible with a 4-year degree program
  • Minimum time to complete: 2 years
  • Community College costs less than half the average 4-year degree

Selecting Your Best Option

To summarize, a trade school, like welding, is for someone who is sure of their desired career path. They also learn best by doing and wanting to join the workforce quickly. On the other hand, a community college is ideal for someone who wants to try out several different fields before choosing one. This person also needs to be good at learning in a classroom setting and should be able to devote 2 years to education.

You may wonder what kind of salary you can look forward to with each of these options. While it is true that someone with a bachelor’s degree will generally, throughout their lifetime, out-earn someone with a trade certificate, it really matters more what career path you want to follow. Certain professions will be served better by earning a 2- or 4-year degree, while others are best suited to a trade school education.

When you’re ready to discuss your next career steps, contact Advanced Career Institute. We’d be happy to help you decide if our courses are your perfect fit. Contact us today to learn more about our Welding and CDL training!